Five Guys Burger & Fries – East Lansing
My travels this weekend brought me close to Lansing. I had to drive around the city to get where I was going which is a good enough excuse for me to leave fifteen minutes earlier to check out the newest addition to my favorite burger chain.
Five Guys Burger & Fries is on Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing right across the street from Michigan State University. It’s not quite near I-96, but it was close enough for me.
The store took over a storefront that used to be Iggy’s Cafe, Roly Poly Rolled Sandwiches, and Take Two Authentics. If you’re coming from US-127, it’s near the end of the downtown stretch in a building that also has a Blockbuster, Jimmy John’s and a few other stores geared towards the college crowd.
The good thing about the location is there are actually some on-site parking spots. They’re metered, but in a parking lot that is shared by the businesses. There is also a back entrance which I believe also had some parking.
The store is set up with the kitchen and order counter near the back entrance. If you go through the Grand River entrance, you have to walk through the dining area to get to the order counter. The walls are covered with snippets from reviews from newspapers from all over the country. The color scheme is a red and white checkerboard and it really has the feel of the other Five Guys I have been too.
The menu is pretty small which is why I’ve never gone out of my way with J to find one of these stores. Other than hamburgers, they have hot dogs, grilled cheese, and a veggie sandwich (no idea what that is). For a guy like me, it’s a perfect menu. For someone that doesn’t eat a lot of beef, there’s not a whole lot of appeal.
I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger and an order of regular fries. When I was told the total, it reminded me why I’m glad there’s not a Five Guys next door. Just the sandwich and fries (no drink) cost a little over nine bucks. I’m not saying it’s not worth it because it totally is, it’s just not an everyday thing as much as I’d like it to be.
After paying, I was handed a receipt with an order number on it. I took a seat leaning on a box of potatoes that will eventually be turned in to french fries.
I watched as two cooks worked the deep fryers and one the grill to make the burgers. The fresh beef patties are thrown down on the grill then smashed. The cook was putting all of his weight on to the flattening iron to get them as flat as possible.
The fries cooks were cranking out basket after basket of fries. The thing I really liked is when they bagged up the orders, they would put the fries in the bag then take another small tray of fries and dump them on top. Not only do you get what’s in the paper cup, but there’s another handful of fries on top of your food just hanging out loose in the bag.
It took a little less than ten minutes for my number to be called. I still had a 45 minute drive to my final destination so I hopped back in the car and started south down US 127.
I started with the fries which were all over the bag. The fries are all fresh cut from Idaho potatoes and fried in peanut oil. They’re skin on and have that perfect crunch to them. I really thought the fries were going to be all I was going to be able to eat. I just got the regular order and there was almost enough there to make it a meal.
The burger is actually two patties with cheese and bacon wrapped in a aluminum foil liner. By the time I got to it, the cheese had continued to melt almost making the sandwich one with the wrapper. The burger was perfectly cooked and started to absorb the melted cheese. The buns are all made special for Five Guys by special selected bakeries. It’s pretty much a standard sesame seed bun, but much softer and flakier.
The food at Five Guys is just fantastic. Would I drive to East Lansing just to get one. Yeah…I just might. Had this store been open last winter when I was doing a lot of work over there I would have probably gained 20 pounds and been a little bit broker, but it would have been so worth it.